Refrigeration Technology

Solar-power-assisted heating and ventilation systems using a prototype adsorption chiller in a new office building

The aim of the project by "Ingenieurbüro Hans-Jürgen Niemeyer" is to test a new method for cooling a building using an adsorption chiller. The heat required for the chiller's operation is supplied by evacuated-tube collectors.



Adsorption chillers are an environmentally sound, innovative technology for resource-efficient cooling and heating of buildings.

Based on this context, the project focuses on researching adsorptive cooling technology using as an example a prototype plant with a low output of 50 kW which is fed by solar collectors of the evacuated tube design. Water is used as a refrigerant and silica gels in crystalline form are used as adsorption agent. The newly constructed office building in which the plant is installed corresponds to optimised low-energy standards. These standards are met through increased thermal insulation of the building envelope, controlled ventilation and solar collectors. The building's gross footprint is 3,410 m2.

During the project, the installed components, solar collectors and chiller were attuned to one another. In doing so, the aim was to integrate as far as possible the adsorption chiller's control system into the building control systems in order to achieve optimum data flow. For long-term analysis of the plant, relevant measurement results are documented. An additionally installed weather station facilitates tracking of the weather data in sync with the operating data.

The expected results are to be transferable both to new buildings and to optimised existing buildings.



  • Over the winter months, supplementary district heating is required. However, the solar collectors add their generated heat to the thermal distributor as a complement.
  • In reducing the proportion of supplementary district heating, a return feed of the district heating into the solar channel proven an avoidable drawback.
  • To power the adsorption chiller using only the energy produced by the solar collectors, the collector field would have to be expanded to an overall output of approx. 240 kW.
  • The achievable operating costs were proven to be very low compared with classic approaches to cooling.

Project Participants

Implementing Institution

Ingenieurbüro Hans-Jürgen Niemeyer

More Project Informations

Project titel : Solaroptimierter Bauen, Teilkonzept 2: Solarunterstützte Heizungs- und Lüftungssystemen unter Einsatz einer Prototyp-Adsorptions-Kälteanlage im Neubau des Bürogebäudes ECOTEC 3

Project number: 0329151O

Reference number: FKZ: 0329151O

Project period: 1999 - 2002

Project region: Germany (Bremen)

Project contact:

Herr Dipl. Ing. Niemeyer

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

View Publication

Source: German National Library of Science and Technology Hannover (TIB)